The Campolessi dairy is one of the last shift-working dairies in Friuli, probably the oldest still in business, since it was founded in 1908. It is currently a cooperative of 17 small family-run livestock farms, scattered throughout the Gemonese foothills.
The shift-working model implies that the dairy does not buy the milk, but carries out instead a processing service on behalf of the cooperative members. All the milk brought by the farmers in one day is transformed on behalf of a single member: the products made on that day are owned by the breeder, who collects them to market them on his own or sells them to the dairy shop. The frequency of the daily withdrawal of the product by the farmer depends on the quantity of milk they provide day by day.
Campolessi dairy transforms about 20 quintals of cow milk per day. The traditional Latteria cheese (which means “dairy cheese”) is produced here, which has obtained the Slow Food Presidium mark, thanks, among other factors, to the centuries-old artisan method of processing.
In the farms, located a short distance from the dairy, the cows are fed exclusively with grass, fodder and GMO-free flours by crops grown on the farms. No silage or foods unrelated to the natural diet of the cows are used, following a rigorous and historical protocol.
Milk is processed raw and in copper boilers by the cheese makers, without thermization and without the use of selected enzymes but with the addition of self-produced starter culture and natural rennet. This process allows to enhance the organoleptic qualities of the milk and to produce a unique artisan cheese, linked to the variety of grass with which the cows are fed and therefore to the production area. In this way the cheese takes on a taste and flavor that vary according to the seasons and to the feeding of the cows.
Campolessi shift-working dairy is part of the Community of dairies that signed the “Shift-working dairies Charter of principles”, promoted by Ecomuseo delle Acque del Gemonese and Slow Food Italy